30 Mayıs 2008

Miami Heat testing the waters with No. 2 pick

While the NBA playoffs march on with the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons all gunning for the championship, the business of developing the next champion -- or the chance to at least compete for the title -- goes on behind the scenes at the league's predraft camp in Orlando, where about 60 players are trying to improve their draft status.

Derrick Rose from the University of Memphis is almost certainly going to be selected No. 1 by the Chicago Bulls, which leaves Kansas State's Michael Beasley at No. 2 for the Miami Heat.

Well, not so fast, is the buzz coming out of Florida this week.

"I'm not sure Beasley is a Pat Riley kind of guy," says one team official. "There are starting to be some red flags on him. But he is so talented they may have to draft the talent."

However, according to some personnel types around the league, Miami is beginning to test the waters on the value of the No. 2 pick.

Of course, that's routine. In 1997, the Spurs listened, if only a little bit, when Rick Pitino, as coach and president of the Celtics, offered practically his entire team for the No. 1 pick that would be Tim Duncan.

The thinking is that Riley is concerned about drafting someone as apparently immature as Beasley.

There is a terrific Washington Post story from a year ago making the rounds. It details Beasley's journey to six high schools in five states and quotes him saying he was "just killing time" in high school. Basketball factory Oak Hill didn't ask him back after he averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds during the 2005-2006 season. And he admitted to the newspaper that he wore pajamas to the school cafeteria, threw sticks at teachers' houses, organized late night hide-and-seek games after curfew and signed his name all over campus in graffiti contests.

Beasley's antics were described as mostly playful, but they also crossed over to practices where he'd sometimes mock the coach.

Look, it's mostly kids coming into the NBA. Ask the Bulls about Joakim Noah , who was charged last weekend in Florida with marijuana possession, carrying an open container of alcohol (how else could he drink it?) and various traffic violations. But this is a Pat Riley team, and Miami is a city where most NBA teams try to come in late and leave early so their players don't get in trouble. Now Beasley's going to live there?

Conventional wisdom says the Heat will take Beasley because of his amazing talent. But Riley doesn't do conventional wisdom.

He traded for Shaquille O'Neal when no one thought it possible, and traded away Shaq when no one thought it possible. He was supposed to take a center, Chris Kaman, with the fifth pick in 2003 after losing Alonzo Mourning, but he surprised many by taking Dwyane Wade. The Bulls were among the surprised, as they thought Wade would be there for their No. 7 overall pick.

The Bulls ended up taking Kirk Hinrich, who some personnel executives around the league say could be traded to accommodate Rose. More on that later.

Miami will be feeling teams out, and here's one deal that makes sense.

Riley long has had a flirtation with Elton Brand, whom he tried to sign in 2003. When the Clippers matched the offer, the Heat moved on to Brand's Clippers teammate Lamar Odom. Brand's Riley-initiated contract expires after next season, and many wonder whether Brand will return to the Clippers.

This could be the Clippers' opportunity to get something in return for Brand. It's questionable whether Miami will want to re-sign Shawn Marion, acquired in the Shaq deal, after next season. So perhaps Miami deals the rights to the No. 2 pick and Marion for Brand and the rights to the Clippers' No. 7, which the Heat supposedly would love to use for O.J. Mayo. While it's uncertain Mayo would slip that far, this is one to watch.

The Bulls' situation with Hinrich, say personnel executives throughout the league, also is worth watching. Perhaps as many as eight lottery teams -- the Heat, New York Knicks, Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors -- could use a point guard. Hinrich may not be the classic "one"; thus the Bulls' interest in Rose. But Hinrich is good enough to have been invited to play for Team USA. Consider him a Danny Ainge type, a guard who can do a little bit of everything. He can shoot, defend even the bigger shooting guards and run the offense. He's not at the level of a Chris Paul or Deron Williams, but he has been to the playoffs three of the last four seasons and is too good to sit behind a kid.

If you need a point guard, would you rather take someone like Texas' D.J. Augustin, regarded as the draft's second-best point guard despite being undersized, or trade for Hinrich?

Toronto Raptors point guard T.J. Ford also may be in the trade mix, but he remains a serious medical risk with spinal cord issues. The Raptors are looking to package Ford in a trade along with some of the team's expiring contracts. They intend to re-sign and start Jose Calderon at point.

Other pieces would be required to match salaries, but here's some speculative possibilities for Hinrich:

• Miami for Shawn Marion
• Indiana for Jermaine O'Neal
• Golden State for Al Harrington
• Portland for expiring contracts, like that of Raef LaFrentz, so the Bulls can get into the free-agent market over the next few years for Brand or Wade
• Charlotte for Jason Richardson (he and Gerald Wallace play similar roles); perhaps the Bulls throw in a veteran like Andres Nocioni for new Bobcats coach Larry Brown
• Milwaukee (would Scott Skiles want to coach Hinrich again?) for a contract they want to dump, like Bobby Simmons', with Yi Jianlian thrown in
• New York. Actually, it seems they're saving cap space to make a run at LeBron James in two years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also are desperate for a point guard, though the talk around the NBA is they want an All Star-type player to pair with James and may be pursuing Jermaine O'Neal.

Only one team will be happy at the end of the season. But this is when optimism abounds for the rest over the possibilities for the future.

kaynak : NBA

Alonzo Mourning opts against buying Suffolk eatery

NBA great Alonzo Mourning has rejected a deal to buy a local diner for his mother, the building’s owner said today.

The property has rebounded, though. A new church, Heaven on Earth Ministries, has leased the site for Sunday services.

City Councilman Charles Parr, the building’s owner, said Mourning, a Chesapeake native, decided against purchasing the former Suffolk Diner after the potential deal was publicized in March.

“He was trying to do it on the Q-T,” Parr said.

Mourning’s mother, Julia Hadnot, who lives in Portsmouth, said the media attention didn’t deter them. She said they were only looking at the building and decided against it. She wants to open a place that caters on-site for banquets and business meetings

“We are still looking at other sites,” Hadnot said.

The Suffolk Diner building, near the northeastern entrance to Suffolk’s downtown, has been open for decades. It has also operated as the Cotton Blossom, Ed’s Place, the Dining Room and Traveller’s Rest. Parr has owned it for the past couple of years.

kaynak : NBA

Paxson's choice, and career death is an option

Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley. That's the choice. This is a two-player draft, which means John Paxson has a 50-50 chance to keep his job.

That's the thing that has been missed in all the talk of the Bulls' lucking into a franchise-saving situation (yes, franchise-saving, given all the anger and ill will engendered by the money-grubbing punks who disgraced the uniform last season).

Paxson was positively giddy during interviews about how he wasn't watching the draft lottery until his sons yelled upstairs that the Bulls were going to do better than the projected ninth overall pick. Indeed, they would do better than anyone imagined. Better than anyone else in the NBA. And now Paxson has to pick the right guy, pick the champion, or he'll pick up his last check.

Do the math: Luck = pressure. This draft, see, will determine the Bulls' next five years, at least. It also will determine whether Paxson gets fired before then, and here's why: The last time the top two picks became NBA champions was the class of '92 when Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning went first and second. Thing is, they didn't win for the teams that drafted them (Orlando and Charlotte, respectively), they won in Miami in 2006 with Mourning backing up Shaq.

In fact, you could go back 40 years and not find another set of Nos. 1 and 2 that has done anything like that without scouring rosters for a failed top pick who took up space as a 12th man on a championship team.

So, Paxson has to get it right or get out, simple as that. You can't draft Beasley and have him turn into the next Derrick Coleman -- a guy with attitude problems who only gets good numbers on bad teams. You can't draft Rose and have him turn into the next Kenny Anderson -- active, fast and couldn't see the floor to run a play if he was locked in the gym by himself all night. That's the kind of scouting and drafting that gets you fired.

Then again, you don't want to take Rose and have Beasley become the next LeBron James, and you don't want to take Beasley and have Rose become another John Stockton (only without the dirty play). That gets you fired, too.

Of course, Paxson also could trade the pick. But the guy who drafted LaMarcus Aldridge and traded him for Tyrus Thomas, and the guy who couldn't trade for Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol is probably not the guy you want dealing something this big. So, Paxson's future is on the clock.

kaynak : NBA

22 Mayıs 2008

Alonzo Mourning Photos 10

kaynak : NBA

Alonzo Mourning Photos 9

kaynak : NBA

Catfish to Host Kidney Disease Awareness Night June 20th

Columbus Catfish
Catfish to Host Kidney Disease Awareness Night June 20th
05/21/08 - South Atlantic League (SAL) Columbus Catfish

• Discuss this story on the South Atlantic League message board...
Columbus, GA - In conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation of Georgia, the Columbus Catfish would like to invite fans to attend the first ever Kidney Disease Awareness Night on June 20th.

The National Kidney Foundation of Georgia will be at the ballpark handing out information and will increase your awareness of Kidney Disease, which affects 1 of every 9 people and has affected people such as Don Sutton, David Eckstein and Alonzo Mourning.

Sometimes to beat kidney disease, all it takes is a change in diet or lifestyle, but once the kidneys fail, it is necessary for dialysis and getting a kidney transplant. Individual transplant centers maintain waiting lists with as many as 500 to 1,500 candidates and the median waiting time nationwide was more than 3 years.

This is a disease that can debilitate you and you need to see if you are at risk. This provides a nice outlet for you to receive information on kidney disease, understand the causes and discover if you are at risk in an environment that is not intimidating, such as a doctor's office.

The game begins at 7:00 p.m. with the Catfish playing the Charleston Riverdogs (Yankees affiliate). The game will also feature a fireworks show, so be sure to call (706) 571-8866 to reserve your tickets today!

kaynak : NBA

20 Mayıs 2008

Heat's fortunes riding on lucky (or bad) lottery bounce

It won't be a 7-Eleven on a Wednesday or Saturday night.

Instead, it will be the Secaucus, N.J., studios of NBA Entertainment on a Tuesday night.

But when it comes to getting lucky, the desperation, hope, greed will be similar.

"Two hundred and fifty quick picks, please."

Such is the essence of the NBA Draft lottery, the random-but-weighted drawing that could shape the Miami Heat's future for years to come.

Just prior to the establishing of the draft order for the league's non-playoff teams, a computer will generate 1,000 random four-digit combinations. Two-hundred and fifty will be issued to the Heat, a fantasy four that could produce an eventual jackpot payoff of Memphis guard Derrick Rose or Kansas State forward Michael Beasley, or consolation prizes along the lines of Stanford center Brook Lopez or Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless.

Then the pingpong balls will be released.

A franchise's future will be in the balance.

"It's a competitive situation, even though you have nothing to do with it," said Heat General Manager Randy Pfund, who represented the team during its first lottery visit of the Pat Riley era. "When you're there, it turns into a very competitive thing."

The Heat is there because it was very uncompetitive , going a league-worst 15-67 to tie for the worst record in the franchise's 20 seasons.

Because of that, it has a better chance than any other team to land the first pick in the June 26 draft.

"It's nerve-racking, even though there's nothing you can do about it," said Heat Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Andy Elisburg, who will represent the Heat in the behind-the-scenes drawing. "It's a nerve-racking day as you get ready for it."

While Elisburg will be an anonymous observer, guard Dwyane Wade, who will represent the Heat on stage as the envelopes are opened, figures eventually to have input into the situation.

Should the Heat land the first pick, Wade has made clear his preference for Rose as a backcourt partner.

Should the Heat fail to land one of the first two selections, Wade has hinted of a preference for some type of win-now trade, similar to what Boston did with No. 5 for Ray Allen last season.

With Wade in position to opt out of his contract after two more seasons, today could prove to be as much of a set-up for the June trade market as the draft. By rule, the Heat would have to exercise its pick before it deals it, with next season's first-round pick already ticketed for the Timberwolves to complete the ill-fated Ricky Davis acquisition.

Should the Heat land the right to select Rose, it would take a huge step toward rounding out its lineup, with Rose at point guard, Wade at shooting guard, Udonis Haslem at power forward and Shawn Marion at small forward.

Should Beasley wind up as the most likely option, it would mean a considerable amount of tinkering, with a logjam at forward with Haslem and Marion.

A pick at three or four, on the other hand, could provide a long-term answer at center, should Lopez be the choice. Currently, the best the Heat has to offer in the middle is Mark Blount. Of course, currently the best it has to offer at point guard is Marcus Banks. Every other option at those positions ended the season as impending free agents.

While the lottery is weighted, it also is designed to discourage teams from intentionally losing, as some accused the Heat of late in the season.

Because of that, the Heat actually has a better chance of landing the No. 4 pick (35.8 percent) than No. 1 (25 percent). Only three times since 1990 has the team with the top seed won the drawing: the Nets, with Derrick Coleman in 1990; the Cavaliers, with LeBron James in 2003; and the Magic, with Dwight Howard, in 2004.

Last year, Memphis went into the process as the No. 1 seed and exited with the No. 4 pick, going on to draft Ohio State point guard Mike Conley Jr.

That led then-Grizzlies President Jerry West to fume, "I don't think the lottery is fair. I never liked it. I don't think it's a good system at all. Period."

In 2002, the Heat nearly became a huge fan of the lottery.

With Elisburg clutching his number sheet, the first ball out of the hopper was 13. The Heat had it.

The second number was eight. The Heat had that, too.

The third number was 11. Suddenly, the Heat was one number from Yao Ming.

The fourth number was four. Bingo! — for the Houston Rockets. (The Heat needed a "9" or "10".)

The Heat exited that lottery at No. 10, eventually drafting Caron Butler.

The following year, in 2003, its most recent lottery visit, the Heat did not come close to the four-number combination for James.

Now the Heat is flush with lottery combinations, but also aware there only will be one or two true winners tonight.

"There's one person with a fist pump or a shout or a yell," Elisburg said of the moment of truth. "Everyone else is fairly quiet."

kaynak : NBA

Alonzo Mourning Photos 8

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Alonzo Mourning Photos 7

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Alonzo Mourning Photos 6

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16 Mayıs 2008

Alonzo Mourning Photos 5

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Alonzo Mourning Photos 4

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Alonzo Mourning Photos 3

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ZO'da Son Dakika Haberi

Gelecek yıl basketbola dönüp dönmeyeceği yılan hikayesine dönen Alonzo Mourning ile ilgili şok bir gelişme yaşandı. Miami basınındaki iddialara göre oyuncunun gelecek sezon formasına kavuşacağı belirtilirken, kendi isteğinin de bu yönde olduğu ileri sürüldü.

Yaşadığı ciddi sakatlıklar ile sağlık sorunları nedeniyle sahalardan uzak kalacağı defalarca söylenen ve basketbolu bırakabileceği dahi belirtilen yıldız oyuncunun, daha da fazla sağlık problemleriyle uğraşmaması halinde dönüşünün kesin olduğu vurgulandı.

kaynak : NBA

6 Mayıs 2008

Alonzo Mourning Wallpaper 12

kaynak : NBA

Alonzo Mourning Wallpaper 11

kaynak : NBA

Stop Chafing, Global Warming

Steve Nash and Alonzo Mourning are among several athletes pushing a new brand of anti-chafing lube.


Mission brand anti-friction cream, according to the Mission website:

Regardless of sport or level, every athlete has to endure irritation stemming from skin-to-skin or clothing-to-skin friction at some time. Knowing that petroleum jellies and band-aids are nothing more than quick fixes, just as likely to irritate already sensitive skin, our team of professional athletes and scientists developed Anti-Friction Cream.

A little anti-friction goes a long way -- ounce for ounce, the concentrated formula lasts five times longer than traditional lubricants. Which means you can push yourself as far as you can go, and then some.

So, what does this have to do with global warming?

Are we to cool the planet one chafed groin at a time?

Not exactly. This is part of a bigger line of Mission skincare products (Nash is said to be especially fond of the foot synergy gel), from which a portion of the proceeds reportedly go to various charities, including Nash's charity, Mourning's charity, and

kaynak : NBA

3 Mayıs 2008

Miccosukee Zo's Summer Groove Makes Summer Travel to Miami Cooler Than Ever

MIAMI, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Are you dreading the summer blues? Don't know where to jet away? Well, the Groove just got flashier! NBA Champ Alonzo Mourning joined by teammate Dwyane Wade, known as "Flash" on the court, will add a little flash to your summer during the Miccosukee Zo's Summer Groove Introducing D. Wade (ZSG) in Miami, Florida July 9-13, 2008.

(Photo: )

The five-day ZSG weekend takes place in hip and trendy Miami offering something for everyone - golf, comedy, concert, benefit dinner, free block party, all-star basketball game, and after-parties galore, in addition to the plethora of offerings found only in Miami, the sizzling beach and nightlife capital of the world!

ZSG, Miami's blockbuster event of the summer, has also launched a new travel-booking engine at to make it easier for fans to make their hotel arrangements and buy tickets to ZSG events. Visitors will find savings from ZSG hotel partners including hotel rates with significant savings of up to 10 to 42 percent off at chic boutiques, golf and spa resorts, gambling paradise and more. Travelers will also get access to information on Miami attractions and travel partner deals, such as a 5 percent discount off domestic flights on American Airlines and a 5 to 25 percent discount, depending on fleet size, at Avis Rent A Car.

For more information call 305/476-0095 or visit to make travel plans now and book the City Furniture Golf Classic, Publix Benefit Dinner, Heineken Comedy Jam & Concert, Block Party, and Carnival Cruise Lines All-Star Basketball Game. Now in its 12th year, proceeds from ZSG benefit Alonzo Mourning Charities and Wade's World Foundation.

Alonzo Mourning Charities is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public fundraising foundation. Its mission is to encourage the educational development of youth by creating programs and youth enrichment centers that promote positive change in low socioeconomic communities. Since 1997, they have raised more than $6.5 million for various programs that aid in the development of children and their families.

Wade's World Foundation provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations. Since 2003, Dwyane and his family have been dedicated to giving back to their core communities in the Chicago and South Florida areas through a variety of community outreach programs.


kaynak : NBA

Alonzo Mourning Wallpaper 10

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Alonzo Mourning Wallpaper 9

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1 Mayıs 2008

Alonzo Mourning Wallpaper 8

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Alonzo Mourning Wallpaper 7

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Wade, Mourning react to Heat coaching change

Miami Heat President and Head Coach Pat Riley has stepped down as Head Coach of the Miami Heat, but will continue to serve as team President. Former Assistant Coach/Director of Scouting Erik Spoelstra has been elevated to head coach. Spoelstra becomes the sixth head coach in franchise history.

Here’s Dwyane Wade reaction to the coaching change: “I am excited about the future of our organization….as head coach - Pat Riley has instilled in me values that enabled me to win a championship in just three seasons. I’ve seen him do the necessary things to make us winners and I believe that with his focus on being president and his commitment to the team - we will once again become a contender…I believe in Coach Spo and have complete confidence that our team will succeed with him at the helm.”

And here’s what Alonzo Mourning said: “A big reason for coming to Miami was to help Coach Riley build a winning team and franchise…we’ve experienced many rough times together on the road to the 2006 championship, and those experiences made the winning that much more gratifying. I admire Coach Riley and his accomplishments and I am also proud of Spo, who will now step into this position to take the organization back to our winning ways.”

kaynak : NBA